If you know me well enough, you would know that I am that person who could never resist a palm-reading session, a Tarot card reading or even a chance to have a photo of my aura taken (this one, i'm still skeptical about). What is it about fortune-telling that draws me? Perhaps I am deluded by the thought that if somehow I know my future, I am in control of it.
Which of course leads me to the idea of fate and kismet.
As I grow older, I know that as romantic the idea of 'fate' is, the power of my destiny somewhat lies in my hands. I CAN control what I do in my life. I am the indeed the master of ship - but I also know we have no say on what 'vessel' we are given. We can only steer it so much and the rest...Well the rest I leave to the universe.
In the past few months, I've been dabbling in the science of Chinese metaphysics. Or to put it plainly, Bazi, Feng Shui, Ming Xiang and the works (Google it, there's just too much information to share here). And while religious fundamentalists are quick to remind me, "Oh my, but as Catholics, the Church forbids is!", I cannot deny that plenty of what I am learning is making more sense than Sunday school.
Oh don't get your panties in a twist, I didn't say I was straying from my faith and rejecting Jesus. But while I've always tried to be a good Catholic, I have to admit that sometimes I am at a limbo with what my religion teaches me. The truth is, with any religion, no faithful follower questions God. More apt, questions what God has decreed. But what we may often forget is that RELIGION is man-made. And if religion is so good, why does it judge, persecute and tear people apart more than it brings people together?
I have my own conclusion. For years, I have been distinguishing between RELIGION and FAITH. While they are often intertwined, to me, they are often two very different things. I believe that my faith as a Christian gives me the strength and the hope to face each day, with a Supreme power that we cannot put a face or name to. To me, if the church burns to the ground and every Bible torn to shreds, it doesn't weaken my faith. If i cannot recite the rosary or know the Ten Commandments by heart - does that make me a lesser Christian? I say this because I know so many people who are deemed 'good Christian families' - but in truth, they lead such un-Christian lives. I do not want to live in such hypocrisy. I go to church when I feel like the time is right - my soul dictates my connection with God, not the busy, gossiping lips of my ungodly relatives or neighbours. My relationship with God is between me and Him. The Church is where we meet - but it does not tell me how to connect with Him.
I digress. I find my spirituality in a turmoil - and that is probably the reason why everything on the outside sometimes feels like an odd fit. My anxiety problems, the way I can't keep my food down most of the time, my panic attacks... Perhaps I've lost my center. With my new interest in Chinese metaphysics and reading more about other religions and faiths, I'm allowing my mind to open up and accept other possibilities. I find that this new revelation grounds me in a way I cannot explain.While I value my Catholic upbringing, I know there's more to fulfilling my spirituality than attending mass every Sunday or memorising every parable.
I intend to open my mind and keep searching.